5 Reason why you should carry a smart knife
#1 Everyday use
Though the glamorous side of firefighting is what is most often portrayed in movies and TV, the fact is a lot of time (most of our time!) is spent doing ordinary things around the station. Fire stations are run like most businesses and a knife is always handy for opening packages, sharpening pencils, removing wrappings and tags, to name just a few.
This is probably the first reason that springs to mind for most people. Whether you are cutting an animal free from fishing line, a driver from a seatbelt, a paraglider from his parachute or getting a toddler out of a car on a hot day. Having the knife on your belt ready to go saves valuable time and provides relief to the victim quickly.
#3 Gaining entry and Salvage
Before an incident a knife is often used to gain access, by prying locks and removing flyscreens or cutting away foam or material to get a good look at an entrapment. After the incident there is plenty to do, cutting tape and black plastic to help secure a site. It’s also often used (but shouldn’t be!) as a mini pry bar, peeking behind car interiors, lifting shower drains, prying open plastic covers on all kinds of things.
#4 All the other jobs!
These days a fire service does much more than simply attend fires, the variety is something I enjoy and you never know what type of situation you are going to attend. Storm work, when working on roofs, cutting rope, plastic and tarps is another obvious example of when a knife would be handy. But with the scope of most fire services expanding you can’t predict what you might be faced with, disaster response, hazmat, EMT, a decent knife will serve you well in all these situations.
#5 Peace of mind
There are also a couple of times when having my knife helps me even without using it. Occasionally firefighters get entrapped or entangled as we are often operating in dark unknown environments. It’s uncommon but with breathing apparatus on, in the dark, in a burning building or confined space a small problem can escalate quickly to a big one. The other time I always make sure I have a knife on me is if I have to wear a Hazmat (F.E.) suit, once you are in those things there is no way to get yourself out, without a knife. Now in theory you shouldn’t have to, as you would be in a very toxic environment, but again you never know what situations might unfold. In these last two situations just carrying my folding knife gives me a peace of mind feeling and options I wouldn’t have otherwise.